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Greener Pastures on Your Side of the Fence


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Bill grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, obtained a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chile. After his Peace Corps service, he returned to graduate school at Wisconsin with his new Chilean wife, Lita, and obtained an M.S. in Soil Science and a Ph.D. in Agronomy and Agricultural Economics. He did part of his M.S. research and all of his Ph.D. research in Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. While there he heard about Voisin grazing management, but never saw it being used successfully. After completing the degree requirements, they returned to Rio Grande do Sul to work on a United Nations project. After that. Bill and Lita moved with their daughters, Michelle and Nicole, to Oregon where they lived while Bill worked on an experiment station for Oregon State University. Bill and Lita now farm 25 acres of land in the Green Mountain foothills of Vermont's Champlain Valley. It was here in 1981, while grazing dairy heifers and trying the Voisin grazing management method, that Bill realized the dramatic improvements in plant and animal production that result from using it. By 1986 the productivity of their pasture had quadrupled, with no other inputs besides observation, Voisin management intensive grazing, and fencing. Bill also worked at the University of Vermont teaching courses on pasture management, forage production, weed/crop ecology, and permaculture, and researching ways of improving pasture performance to cut production costs. He retired from the University in 2003.

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